Image Tips

Choosing the Perfect Colors To Compliment Your Eyes

Hi Kathi,

What colors go best with eye colors?  What Gotchas should I be aware of? Please point me in the right direction.

Thank you very much.

Regards, Lacey

Hi Lacey,

Thanks so much for this question! I am sure many others are also curious.

What I have discovered over the years is that eyes, like hair and skin tone tend to run either warm or cool, so let’s start there.

In order to answer this question and create a game plan you must always also consider the skin and hair color. The combination of all three elements will determine what colors you should wear close to your face.

Carole Jackson, author of Color Me Beautiful originally and ingeniously developed the idea of seasonal palettes and complexions. She makes it fairly easy to determine your seasonality through her in depth descriptions and color photos. You might want to pick up a copy of that book to actually see the colors that I will refer to in this article. I will also write a more detailed article about seasons and colors with and include a link to it at the end of this article once it is posted. Check back in a week or so.

Green Eyes

Green eyes come in a variety of tones, from gray/green, clear green, avocado green or hazel with a gray tone. If your eyes are gray/green, or clear green a cooler color palette will work best to compliment your eyes.

If you have the green eyes with the warmer tones of avocado or hazel, you can create a striking combination by wearing warmer colors.

Brown Eyes

Hazel / Brown eyes often have flecks of gold or green within. They would be considered a warm tone and are fun to highlight because they can change tonality or color depending on what colors are close to the face. Sometimes they can look green, sometimes gold or at other times, simply brown. These eyes work well with warm, muted colors and tones.

Some brown eyes are very dark, almost black/brown. If this sounds like your eyes and you also have blue/black hair and blue undertones in your skin, then you are probably a winter complexion and cool, clear, crisp colors will look best around your face.

Blue Eyes

Blue eyes that are deep blue with gold flecks, blue/green, turquoise will look best in softer, warmer tones.

Blue eyes that are deep blue with white flecks, aqua/ grey, clear blue, or will look best in cool colors.

I explain how to determine which season you are and the colors that will look best on you in more detail in the upcoming article titled: Seasons and What Colors to Wear. Check back next week for this article.

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A Wedding Gown for an Emerald ~ First in the Series-> A Gown for Every Body

Almost every year I find myself working with brides to help them find the perfect gown for their perfect day. For me, the ideal gown is one that will highlight their best assets and detract from their less flattering features.

This case study is about an athletic bride, a rock climber, hula hooper and yoga instructor. As a quick reference, other possible body shapes include heart shapes, trilliants, ovals, and heart on hearts.  You can check back to this site where I will be adding an article about each shape as a bride but meanwhile, let’s get back to the bride at hand.

This bride was a classic emerald shape meaning that she had an athletic build with her shoulders, hips and waist about the same size.  As an athletic adventurous woman, Stephanie started her wedding dress quest with the vision of a tea length dress, nothing fancy or bridal. Since I had known her fiance for several years, and saw the love they shared, I felt this would be her once in a lifetime wedding. I also knew that the groom’s style was simple, classic, elegant and romantic.

Due to these factors, and the fact that I am a firm believer in wearing a gorgeous gown whenever possible, I wanted to give her the sensation of wearing an actual wedding gown. If she decided at that point to stay simple and not wear a gown, that was fine.  But I knew that this was her once-in-a -lifetime chance to be in a full regalia and I felt it was important to at least put her in several versions of gowns from simple to floor length with train so that she could make an educated decision.

Well, needless to say, once this bride-to-be experienced the Cinderella feeling of wearing a ‘real’ wedding gown, there was no turning back. She quickly embraced the fun and beauty of wearing a once in a lifetime gown!

The gown we ended up selecting was simple and classic. The A-Line was a perfect choice knowing that a true ball gown would be way too much for this particular bride. The key ingredients of a sweetheart neckline and an A-Line construction were included.

I really wanted to build a few curves into her athletic shape and the sweetheart neckline combined with diagonal pleating in a criss-cross pattern added effortless curves. The A-line shape with asymmetrical pleating along the full bodice added curves in all of the right places. The ivory fabric was chosen because it was perfect for her complexion and the floating pearl necklace and earrings were her something borrowed from me!

This close up  photo shows the details included on this gown. Note the asymmetrical layering and floral embellishment at the hip. Both of these, along with the sweetheart bodice and neckline added curves where it counts.

This gown had just enough train to work for an outdoor wedding and the bride and groom were able to kick up their heels in the surf after the wedding with the gown bustled!

And they live happily ever after with baby Bella now in their life!


For Your Quick Reference:

For heart shapes, I add weight below the waist to balance the top of the dress with the bottom.


For the emerald shapes, I build in curves.



Heart on Heart Shapes need to keep their balance and accentuate their curves. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!



For the inverted heart or trilliant, I add volume on the top.


When styling oval shapes I create a visual waistline and often choose empire construction.


Check back often for more wedding gown articles. This is the first in the Gown For Every Body series.

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Tricks for Transitioning from Work to Retiree Wardrobe

Dear Kathi,

Women go through many changes in their lives. Making the transition from work clothing to retirement is my most difficult challenge. My eyes still wander to classic clothing when shopping instead of cute, fun, playful, retirement appropriate styles.

Thanks for all your help with what works after 60.




Dear Pat,

I am a strong believer in classic timeless wardrobes. That being said, it is really fun to play with trends throughout your life and this should not stop as you get older. I love seeing retirees (more…)

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Cucumbers Provide Green Solutions for Almost Everything Including Cellulite!

Cucumbers Provide Green Solutions for Almost Everything Including Cellulite!

I have always been a big fan of cucumbers. Sliced thin with a little rice wine vinegar and dill, or chopped into squares with tomatoes and basil, yummy! Now I love them even more. From bad breath to cellulite to hangover (more…)

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Makeup Storage Solution by an Inventive Client!

makeup cabinet Most women wonder what to do with their makeup collection. For the more visually oriented among us, myself included, we don’t want to see it spread all over our bathroom counter. I am very pleased and excited to show you what one of my more enterprising and creative clients designed to overcome her makeup challenge. She purchased a jewelry box and turned it into a make-up storage cabinet It worked out perfectly and keeps her makeup out of site but quickly accessible. She also confided to me that having a contained small storage space, keeps her collection from growing out of control. Most of us have more make-up than we actually use. As you can see by this photo, she has exactly what she needs, no more, no less. She also has a safe place to keep her daily rings and earrings when she showers. Kudos to my brilliant client! makeup storage within

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A Busy Writer Has Her Image Edited

This extremely busy and successful writer loves to do yoga and had a very casual appearance even in her work place. Her sandals, casual cotton and yoga attire did not reflect  how really talented she is. She holds a very prestigious job as a writer for a well-known and respected celebrity.

This was her daily image before her makeover:

My mission was to glam her up a bit and give her clothes that were as easy and comfortable to wear every day as her yoga clothes. This way, she could run out the door in a hurry, work long hours and still look like she spent a lot of time getting ready for the world each morning.

We changed her hair a bit so that it was easier to maintain and found clothes that were literally ‘throw and go’ dresses and other easy to match pieces. Getting rid of the ankle straps on her sandals elongated her legs and added height to her stature. Now she is just as comfortable as before the makeover but appears much more polished with the same amount of effort as before.

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Every Woman Deserves a Little Black Dress Regardless of Her Size!

My phone rang one day and the lady on the line waged a challenge to me. She had recently found my article online about the little black dress and desperately needed a to find a new one for her formal affairs. She was frequently invited and often  celebrated for her work at black tie affairs and with her physical challenges had nothing to wear. She said that finding a little black dress for her shape and size was impossible! I knew with enough searching, I could find the perfect little black dress for anyone. I have never been foiled yet!

This was her current day wear:

Her challenges were that she was a plus size woman and had back and foot problems which normally prevented her from wearing off the rack clothes. I decided that the best route was to find her separates so that we could acomodate her back and still provide coverage for her arms. The black dress that I found was perfect because it fit her in all of the right places and had see-through sleeves and back so it did not appear overly heavy on her frame.

The fabric was light so she was not uncomfortably hot throughout the evening. I found a silver pashmina to keep her warm and  add a bit of glam to her outfit during the holiday months.

Here is another outfit that we found that day for every day wear:

Once the wider leg on the trousers are hemmed properly, they will help to balance her top half. BTW – the v-neck is good for almost every body!

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What to Wear to Your Next Job Interview


If you are one of the many folks getting prepared to begin interviewing for a new job, this video will help you choose the best elements for your interview outfit.

There are several “do’s and dont’s” rules addressed in this news clip along with real interview appropriate clothing examples in this FOX News segment with Image Consultant and Author Kathi Burns, CPO®.

Please leave a comment below or on YouTube if this video helped you!


Shally Zomorodi: Well the way you present yourself can make or break your chances at landing your dream job, so we brought in image consultant and author Kathi Burns. She’s here now and she’s going to show us how to dress the part and seal the deal. Hi Kathi!

Kathi: Hello!

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, a lot of people looking for jobs right now and it’s…a lot of competition out there so let’s get people looking sharp. Let’s just start with three looks first – the senior executive.

Kathi: The senior executive, what you want to do is you want to be very serious and straightforward. Now what we’ve done, we’ve done a little bit of an edge with the shoes. The most important thing is to have an impeccably tailored suit, so the red power tie is also quintessential. If in doubt in a job interview, a white shirt is always good. Pin striping is good because it elongates the figure and makes the person appear taller and longer and leaner, and more put together.

Shally Zomorodi: Is that pin stripes he has on his suit right now?

Kathi: It is; it’s a color-on-color pin.

Shally Zomorodi: So senior exec – black suit, white shirt, red tie – power. Because the color does matter right, because yellow actually tests as a weaker color, which yellow is one of my favorite colors but it’s not one of the colors that you should probably wear to a power interview?

Kathi: Right and it’s not necessarily good on a lot of different complexions. In fact, yellow is hard for most complexions.

Shally Zomorodi: Oh really? Interesting. Okay, what else before we let him go? Can you turn around? Can we see the whole, let’s see the whole thing? Let’s see, he has two buttons on that, what about the buttons? What about the guys that do the three buttons?

Kathi: Three buttons, you never want to have all three buttons buttoned during an interview. So on the three button – two; on a two button – one. Okay? And as they sit down, they can sit down and then they can unbutton if they feel comfortable that way. When they stand up they should button again. It just puts together an overall crisp look.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, so it’s okay either way if you want to button or unbutton when you sit?

Kathi: Yeah.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, got it.

Kathi: As long as you button it back up when you stand.

Shally Zomorodi: Right, got it. Okay, number two…thank you, sir…is the college graduate woman, entry level business. Natalia, hey we know her! She works around here! She helps us out, she interns here. So Natalia, how have you dressed her?

Kathi: Well what we’ve done is we kept her youth. The last thing I want to see with college entry level is to be suited up in black. We want to still show that she’s hip, she’s forward; she’s progressive. We’ve done a well-tailored sports suit coat, and you can see what we’ve done. We’ve done the umpire seaming, it’s really very pretty on any type of woman’s body. We’ve given her a very interesting necklace, and this will draw the interviewer’s eyes up to the eyes. And then to give a little bit of jazz, we gave her some great shoes.

Shally Zomorodi: Because you don’t want to take away from her age, you highlight her age. You don’t want to put her in the big power suit that’s not going to fit because that will send an image that she’s not sure who she is or where she’s going. If she looks like she is herself and that’s okay, then that sends a better message. Is that what you’re trying to say?

Kathi: Yes, as long as she’s very well put together which she is.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, I mean I was broke when I just got out of college. Let’s just assume that Natalia’s broke, right? Like most of us are these days, where does she shop for this kind of stuff?

Kathi: Well Macy’s is a great place to shop because you can always get suits for very inexpensive. It’s amazing how little you can pay.

Shally Zomorodi: And you know what? They will tell you when their sales are going to be. I mean like there’s certain times of the year, what are the best times of the year to get a sale on this kind of stuff. Do you know?

Kathi: Well there’s always a sale at Macy’s, pretty much all the time! They have 1-day sales continually, and this wardrobe is by Macy’s by the way. They’ve been gracious enough to provide the wardrobe for us. But you know, suits…when I graduated from college, my father gave me money to buy one suit. I went out and bought one good suit to do my interviews with. And I think that it’s very important that each college graduate has at least one suit in their artillery.

Shally Zomorodi: Thank you Natalia. Let’s get to the third – mid-thirties Mom reentering the workplace. By the way, consignment shops and Goodwill are great places to get some good stuff too if you know what you’re looking for.

Kathi: If you know what you’re looking for and you have the eye.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, alright – mid-thirties Mom. Hi Mom!

Kathi: She’s not quite mid-thirties but she’s reentering…she’s the Mom reentering the workplace from having babies.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, love it!

Kathi: You can’t tell, can you?

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, so she’s got some good stuff going on with the belt and the color. And the hemline…

Kathi: The hemline, okay. Always at the knees, that’s the quintessential hemline. Okay, so if you can always be at the knees, you’re going to be really good to go. It’s classic, it’s non-invasive, nothing about it. Now you see we have great shoes going on with her, pointy-toed shoes are always good. They elongate the torso, and she’s completely covered up as you see but she’s very impeccably dressed, and she’s serious, way down to business.

Shally Zomorodi: Good lines on that dress. Okay, thank you Mom! Do’s and don’ts, let’s start with the women’s interview don’ts.

Kathi: Do not show cleavage, do not wear heavy perfume, do not wear heavy makeup. No dangling earrings and no jingling bracelets. Those are a bunch of don’ts.

Shally Zomorodi: How about tongue piercings?

Kathi: No tongue piercings. I’ve seen that in an interview.

Shally Zomorodi: Are you kidding?

Kathi: If you have piercings, we only want two to show. On one and two; exactly [referring to ears].

Shally Zomorodi: Alright, so take it out of your nose…

Kathi: Take it out of your nose, take it out of your tongue, take it out of your eyebrow, please.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay; guy’s don’ts.

Kathi: Guys, no novelty ties. If you want to have a serious job interview, you don’t want to be wearing novelty ties, wrinkled ties. A lot of guys will wear their ties twenty times before they’ll get them dry cleaned and so they’re always rumply and wrinkly. Again, what you’re trying to do is a really crisp well put together look so that you present yourself like you’ve actually paid attention whenever you come out.

No scruffy shoes, I think shoes tell a man. So anytime there’s an investment item, you can tell a man by his shoes, don’t you think?

Shally Zomorodi: Well yeah, I do now!

Kathi: If there’s any type of investment piece, put the money into shoes.

Shally Zomorodi: Okay, can I walk in with a cup of my Starbucks or my Coffee Bean…

Kathi: No Starbucks, no gum, make sure you have a pen please. A lot of people come into interviews without pens.

Shally Zomorodi: Well your website is You can get to that by going to Kathi Burns, thank you much very. Models, you look great, thank you. Good luck in getting your jobs! Alright, that wraps up, again go to, great information. Let’s send you back over with Raoul, who knew that somebody would show up to an interview with a tongue piercing!

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A new and incredibly easy way to organize your purse!

I was asked to test out a new product recently and I have to say – I love it. This entrepreneuer has designed a clever new way to clear the everyday muck from our handbags!

The Purse Perfector makes changing purses really easy and effortless. Being a no-fuss kind of gal, I do not change purses very often (can you believe this coming from an Image Consultant?!) As a Professional Organizer,  I simply love (more…)

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Dressing for Semi-Formal Events

Cocktail Dress


I’ve been invited to an event and the invitation says it is semi-formal. What does this mean? Do I wear a knee length or long dress? Thanks for your help.

Deb, Cardiff


Semi-formal invitations are the most tricky to decipher. Usually they imply that long dresses are not required, nor are tuxes. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate a cocktail dress for her and a dark suit for him. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for her.

If the invitation states Formal attire or Black Tie, you can wear a long dress, or a dressy evening gown. In trendier areas like LA, men could also wear a tux with a black shirt with no tie.

Black Tie Optional means you have the option of wearing a tuxedo or long gown. It can also tip you into the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option.

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